Publications

2016
Maor M. Missing Areas in the Bureaucratic Reputation Framework . Politics and Governance. 2016;4 (2) :80-90.Abstract

Drawing on insights from social networks, social cognition and the study of emotions, this conceptual article offers a set of ideas and a series of predictions on how systematic variation in two sets of relationships may bear on agency behavior. The first is the agency-audience relationship which revolves around how and what multiple audiences think about public agencies, how these thoughts impact upon agency behavior, how information regarding this behavior is transformed within multiple audiences and how it influences audience memory and behavior regarding that agency. The second is the relationship between the reputation of an agency head and the reputation of that agency. The article identifies six broad areas that offer the most promising possibilities for future research on bureaucratic reputation, calling on researchers to incorporate insights from the aforementioned literatures, to dimensionalize these sets of relationships and to assess the generalizability of reputation’s effects.

Maor M, Sulitzeanu-Kenan R. Responsive Change: Agency Output Response to Reputational Threats . Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. 2016;26 (1) :31-44.Abstract
How do reputational threats affect agency outputs? We undertake quantitative and qualitative analyses of reputation and outputs data regarding the fight against welfare fraud by the main service delivery agency for the Australian government in the field of social policy. We find that an agency’s response to reputational threats is endogenously differential both within the set of agency outputs and between agency outputs and other activities (a pattern we termed responsive change ). For the former, we find that when an agency output is below average, negative media coverage leads to an increase in output in the following year. However, this relationship is nullified for agency outputs that are about average and is reversed for outputs that are above average, that is, these outputs tend to decrease following negative media coverage. For the latter, we find that when a reputational threat is joined by a general above average level of outputs, the agency’s drive for change is likely to be channeled into activities other than the number of units of service delivered (e.g., public relations, community engagements, stakeholder consultations, etc.).
Maor M. Strategic Silence. בתוך: Carroll CE The SAGE Encyclopedia of Corporate Reputation. The SAGE Encyclopedia of Corporate Reputation. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage ; 2016. 'עמ. 822-824.
Gilad S, Alon‐Barkat S, Braverman A. Large‐Scale Social Protest: A Business Risk and a Bureaucratic Opportunity . Governance. 2016;29 (3) :371-392.Abstract

The public versus private nature of organizations influences their goals, processes, and employee values. However, existing studies have not analyzed whether and how the public nature of organizations shapes their responses to concrete social pressures. This article takes a first step toward addressing this gap by comparing the communication strategies of public organizations and businesses in response to large‐scale social protests. Specifically, we conceptualize, theorize, and empirically analyze the communication strategies of 100 organizations in response to large‐scale social protests that took place in Israel during 2011. We find that in response to these protests, public organizations tended to employ a “positive‐visibility” strategy, whereas businesses were inclined to keep a “low public profile.” We associate these different communication strategies with the relatively benign consequences of large‐scale social protests for public organizations compared with their high costs for businesses.

Alon-Barkat S, Gilad S. Political control or legitimacy deficit? Bureaucracies' symbolic responses to bottom-up public pressures . Policy & Politics. 2016;44 (1) :41-58.Abstract

Public administration research has thus far focused on the responses of bureaucracies to top-down pressures by elected politicians. By comparison, bureaucracies' responses to bottom-up public pressures, such as media coverage and social protest, and the micro-mechanisms that underlie the variation in their response, have received less attention. This study contributes to current literature by analysing the extent to which subjection to political control shapes the direct response of bureaucracies to bottom-up public pressures. Based on current literature, we explore two distinct micro-mechanisms: on the one hand, building, inter alia, on principal–agent theory, we would expect higher levels of political control to render bureaucracies more attentive to public pressures in order to preempt intervention by politicians who are reliant on public support (the principal–agent mechanism). Conversely, building on regulation theory, we would expect autonomous agencies to exhibit their attentiveness to salient public pressures in order to compensate for their precarious democratic legitimacy (the legitimacy-deficit mechanism). Empirically, we analyse the responses of a diverse set of 36 bureaucracies to the unprecedented social protests that took place in Israel during 2011. We focus on bureaucracies', including independent agencies', symbolic responses via advertising campaigns. Our analysis shows that higher levels of political control enhanced the inclination of bureaucracies to engage in symbolic interactions in response to the social protests, supporting our extended version of the principal–agent model.

de Shalit A. The ethics of academic boycott . Journal of Politics. 2016;78 :642-652.Abstract

This article asks whether an academic boycott is morally justified. It does not relate to the question whether academia and politics should be mixed. Instead, relying on the case study of the debate surrounding the academic boycott of Israeli academia by British, and later American academics, the article analyzes the various arguments applying analytical political philosophy tools. Broadly speaking two families of arguments—consequentialist and deontological—are found. Consequentialist arguments rely on three psychological, sociological, and political assumptions that are false and make them counterproductive (bearing in mind the overall goal declared by the boycott promoters). Despite some initial appeal, the deontological arguments also fail, at least to a certain extent, to justify the boycott. Finally I discuss what I call “selective boycotting.”

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